A Boris Johnson lookalike has raced against a costumed “clock” as a charity highlighted that time is running out to tackle climate change.
Ahead of the Cop26 UN climate change conference in Glasgow, the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (Sciaf) has launched a petition calling on the UK Government to act to protect the poorest communities in the world.
The race on Monday took place along the River Clyde in Glasgow, across the water from the Scottish Event Campus which will host the conference in November.
The petition, addressed to the Prime Minister, calls on the UK Government to pay to protect the poorest communities, ensuring that financial support is given to people affected by the impact of climate change so they can adapt and recover.
It also calls on him to make sure world leaders commit to keeping rises in global temperatures below the “disastrous” 1.5C threshold and ensure that people worst affected by the crisis are at the heart of the climate talks.
Dr Geraldine Hill, Sciaf advocacy manager, said: “Climate change is already having a devastating impact on the world’s poorest communities and, as we’ve shown today, time is running away from us.
“We have launched a new petition calling on the Prime Minister to take bold action and stop runaway climate change.
“While much of the focus has been on reducing emissions, we also want to highlight the support that is needed to help the world’s poorest communities adapt and recover. They are on the front line of the climate crisis.
“As we inch closer to Cop26, there is no doubt on what we need to do. Show your support by signing our petition.
“Now more than ever we need to come together as a global community – the world’s poorest people are counting on us.”
.@BorisJohnson must encourage leaders to make three key promises:— SCIAF (@sciaf) August 14, 2021
1️⃣Pay to protect the poorest communities
2️⃣Come together to stop runaway climate change now
3️⃣Listen to those on the frontline of the climate crisis
Act now for a just and green world👇https://t.co/La8xlRRhHD pic.twitter.com/tf9ysfDFGX
Sciaf is the official relief and development agency of the Catholic Church in Scotland and works with partners in eight countries around the world.
Therese Mema Mapenzi, director for the Olame Centre in Bukavu – one of Sciaf’s partners in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – and Sciaf board member, said: “Climate change is making the challenges we face in the DRC – conflict, food insecurity, gender-based violence – much worse and harder to fix. When the weather is unstable, it destabilises lives.
“We need to keep on talking about the environment, to help people become resilient so they can survive.”
The petition is at sciaf.org.uk/timeforaction
Olivia McKibbin, Sciaf supporter and volunteer in Monday’s race, said: “If our leaders don’t take urgent action on climate change then nothing else matters. The things that our governments deem important now will be worthless when we cannot breathe the air that’s around us.”